The NHRA museum is located in the Los Angeles County Fairplex some 30 miles outside of L.A. Fairplex is huge, some 543 acres to be precise. Opened in 1922 it is home to the L.A. county fair which attracts an average 1.3 million visitors every year so that also is quite big. The car park alone is 250 acres! Also on site is a 5/8 mile horse track and the Pomona drag strip, as well as a small airstrip with a great little cafe, so that was nice. There was also a little vintage aircraft show going on at the airstrip but we missed that by going to the museum first. In amongst the 350,000 foot of covered exhibition space is the 28,500 foot that is the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum.
The museum was a long time dream of Mr Parks, pretty much the founding Father of drag racing, and finally opened in April of '98. It's stated aim is to "celebrate the impact of motorsports on our culture" and is home to several landmark cars from both drag racing and ultimate speed disciplines. Whilst the floor space is taken with race cars the walls are lined with cases full of artifacts and mementos and backed with photos dating back to the very start of the sport. Well worth a few hours spent browsing the exhibits. When we arrived ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbon’s truck was parked outside. Not sure if it’s a regular part of the show or just passing through. It was quite strange to see cars on display that just a week before we had seen being driven at the track.
Highlights for me? Getting to have a really close look at George Bolthoff's Top Gas dragster, the Barris Mercs, and getting to sit in one of Forces Funnycars, even if it had been cut up and made into a game type thing.